How to Determine Your Skin Tone

July 06, 2022
By: Makeup.com | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
whats your skin tone

Considering your skin tone when buying complexion products is essential. Have you ever picked up a foundation that ended up looking too pink for your complexion? Or maybe you’ve tried a concealer that turned out to be too yellow? It’s likely because the product didn’t match your skin’s tone or undertones. Follow our guide below to determine your undertone and to discover our top product picks for your skin tone.

How to Determine Your Undertone  

While it’s pretty easy to assess whether your skin is fair, light, medium, deep or dark, figuring out your undertones can be more challenging. To put it simply, there are three different types of undertones: cool, warm and neutral. Understanding yours can help you find the right foundation and concealer matches, as well as determine what shades of blush, lipstick and eyeshadow will best complement your complexion. 


One method that can help you determine your undertone is to look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they have more of a blue-purple color, you are in the cool-toned category. If your veins appear green, you are warm-toned. And if your veins fall somewhere in between blue and green, you probably have a neutral-colored complexion.


You can also examine your jewelry to determine your skin’s undertones. Personal preference aside, does silver or gold jewelry suit you better? If you’re team silver, you may be cool-toned; if gold is for you, you may be warm-toned; if both look equally great, then you are likely neutral-toned.


If You Have a Fair or Light Skin Tone

Fair skin tones often have cool or neutral undertones and are also likely prone to redness and skin conditions such as rosacea. Light skin tones are often cool or natural, but it’s not uncommon to have light skin with warm undertones. Pro tip: Keep your beauty cabinet stocked with gentle moisturizers and sunscreens with a high SPF.


Product Picks: A green color corrector, like the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Camouflage Creator in Green, is great to have in your collection to counteract redness that might appear in your complexion. We also love how a light dusting of a cool or neutral bronzer can instantly bring fair and light complexions to life — the L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24H Fresh Wear Soft Matte Bronzer in Fair is a great choice. 

lancome color corrector

If You Have a Medium Skin Tone

Typically, those with medium complexions have neutral undertones which makes finding products like foundation and concealer easy — just stay away from anything too warm or too cool. The exception to this rule is an olive-tinged medium tone. If you have olive skin, you likely have warm undertones and tan easily.


Product Picks: The shade range in the iconic Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation has tons of great options for medium skin tones, and if you have olive-toned medium skin, shade 6 was made just for you. If you prefer a foundation with a matte finish, the Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte + Poreless Liquid Foundation has tons of medium shades.
armani luminous silk

If You Have a Deep or Dark Skin Tone

Deeper and darker skin tones range from copper and espresso tones to dark brown or ebony. In addition to the general tone, deep and dark skin can be cool, warm or neutral. Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern, so look for brightening ingredients and don’t forget the SPF.


Product Picks: The IT Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40 is a makeup bag staple because it has several dark shades with varying undertones. It’s also formulated with ingredients to address uneven skin tone and dryness. We also love the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush for darker skin tones because they’re incredibly pigmented, will pop beautifully and are super easy to blend.

IT Cosmetics CC Cream
Photography and Makeup: Jonet Williamson

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